Hey guys, Brandon Scott here. Today, instead of my usual stuff, I have an awesome guest post from my friend Connie Cockrell. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
I’d like to thank Brandon for inviting me to post on his wonderful blog. I know he talks about writing here and I thought I’d do the same. One question I often get is “What’s it like to be an author?” I suppose the questioner thinks it’s exciting, living inside my own head, pouring words onto paper, vicariously living out my fantasies. Perhaps it is, but there’s more to it than that.
For example, I slop around the house in sweats and a quilted flannel shirt in the winter, soft cotton shorts and a t-shirt in the summer. If I don’t leave the house, I don’t get dressed. No, it’s not a pretty sight.
The actual writing is a balance of writing versus living. By that I mean I don’t get a pass on washing dishes, making the bed, or taking a shower, just because I’m writing. Social engagements take up time if I don’t want to be classified as a hermit. I also do volunteer work that takes up a lot of time so I have to have a time set aside for writing, an appointment if you will, scheduled into every day or I wouldn’t get any writing done. National Novel Writing Month in November is great for that. I can usually complete a novel in the thirty days. Yay for discipline!
Connections are a positive part of being a writer. When I first started I didn’t know anyone in my town who wrote. Then a friend of mine thought he would like to put together a cookbook on hot dogs. He loves hot dogs and has a lot of ways for making them. Right at that time I saw an ad in our local paper for a workshop on How to Write a Cookbook! I signed us both up for it and that way found this great local group called Arizona Professional Writers. All of a sudden I was meeting authors from all over the area. It turned out that my town of Payson is a secret author hideaway. There must be a hundred authors here! Now we have people we can reach out to when a scene refuses to cooperate or our characters are misbehaving and who’ll understand the agonies we’re going through.
The other side of writing is marketing and promotion. It’s all well and good to write books and get them up for sale on Amazon or Kobo or Barnes and Noble, it’s another thing to let people know the books are out there to buy and be read. For example, I have a new book coming out in the next few weeks called Kindred Spirits. It’s the third novella in my dystopian science fiction Brown Rain series about two young women who are traveling across a toxic landscape healing the land and the survivor communities they encounter. If I want the book to sell, I have to do some advertising. I need to make announcements, create marketing materials, put press releases in local papers, get on social media and talk about my new book. All of that takes time, time I’d rather be writing. It’s not all bad. I love book signings. It gives me a chance to talk to readers about my book and about their experiences and joy of reading. Sometimes I even get good tips on an author new to me for me to read.
So that’s some of what it means to me to be a writer. It’s nothing fantastic or glamorous, just good old-fashioned work. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you for reading along and many thanks again to Brandon for allowing me to post on his blog. If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, you can find me at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com.
Connie Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY. She now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. Connie Cockrell began writing in response to a challenge from her daughter in October 2011 and has been hooked ever since. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published thirteen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.